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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Thimphu
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: Closed
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in about 170 countries and territories, working with national counterparts on solutions to global and national development challenges.

UNDP Bhutan supports governance and development priorities in in partnership with the Royal Governments of Bhutan, the United Nations system, the development partners and other partners to help the country to achieve sustainable development by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development and building resilience to crises and shock. In addition, UNDP now has the mandate to support SDG Integration to ensure faster progress on sustainable development.

In Bhutan, UNDP has recently established itself as a partner of choice in supporting the Royal Government of Bhutan in economic transformation and SDG finance. These are strategic areas of work that will be further strengthened by the Economist. This will include, especially, supporting UNDP’s portfolio on fiscal policy, innovative finance, and inclusive economic strategies. The economist will also play a critical role in UNDP’s support to Bhutan’s socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and implementation support of the 21st Economic Transformation Roadmap. The Economist will also support integration of economic analysis into all areas of UNDP Bhutan’s portfolio.

The Economist Programme provides policy and programme support on economic, development and social issues at the country office level in alignment with the 2030 development agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Economists play an important role in the Country Office by conducting research and producing analytical reports that inform decision making on inclusive economic development growth, the design of Programme and projects, and assessment of UNDP impact.

Position Purpose

Under the guidance of the Resident Representative, the Economist advises Senior Management on economic policies, trends and relevant linkages to UNDP programmes and provides analysis for formulation of strategies and senior level briefings. The Economist works with Government counterparts to identify alternative economic policy options and to enhance the policy impact of UNDP projects and programmes. The Economist advocates for and represents UNDP in his/her area of expertise as requested by the RR or DRR.

The Economist will work closely with the programme and operations teams in the country office, the accelerator lab, the economist in the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) and staff in the Bangkok Regional Hub (BRH) and New York in Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) as well as the Global Policy Network (GPN) of UNDP. S/he will also collaborate with the Asia-Pacific regional network of country economists. This will include systematic engagement with and oversight from the lead regional economic advisors based in Bangkok and New York. S/he is also expected to develop and maintain a network of colleagues across development partner agencies, government institutions, the private sector, and civil society at the country level.

The Economist may supervise and lead a team of UNDP experts, international and national consultants and project staff. The Economist interacts collaboratively with colleagues from UNDP, UN Agencies, IFIs, Government officials, partners and civil society to maintain networks and exchange information.

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Duties and Responsibilities

Advise the UNDP country office management and programme team to strengthen programme development and implementation:

  • Advise UNDP country office management with preparation and implementation of country programmes and strategies, including the development of country programme document and related analysis;
  • Support UNDP country office teams to develop and manage relevant thematic portfolios, such as activities to support inclusive growth and progress towards the SDGs;
  • Support UNDP country office efforts to conceptualize and implement the Development Finance Assessment (DFA) and accompanying process and use existing financial resources more effectively and efficiently to achieve the SDGs;
  • Provide analysis and research in priority thematic areas at the country level, including publication of policy briefs or other analytical outputs;
  • Support the preparation of policy briefs, background notes, speeches, talking points, presentation materials, etc. on critical development issues within the SDG framework for senior management at the country level;
  • Lead the development of National Human Development Report (HDR) and ensure that it provides added value in terms of development economic analysis, updated data and information for policy formulation;   
  • Compile and analyze statistical data as required in support of country strategies and activities;
  • Collaborate across UNDP teams, especially to ensure linkages to the work emerging from the network of acceleration labs;
  • Support the creation of large-scale development solutions to help address complex development challenges;
  • Lead the expansion of country office service offers on financing for development, including innovative financing models and country specific/sector specific studies. 

Provision of technical advice to national government counterparts and other partners, especially in support of the 2030 Agenda and the introduction of sustainable and inclusive economic policies, especially into the NSEDP:

  • Advise and facilitate dialogue on sustainable development issues with government officials, development partners, civil society, and the private sector;
  • Provide policy and programming advice and support for development planning and policy formulation at the national, sub-national and local levels;
  • Support the identification and analysis of interventions that can impact multiple development goals and targets at the same time; 
  • Support monitoring and reporting of progress related to SDGs and other national development frameworks, including to help strengthen national and local level data collection and statistical capacity;
  • Support to leverage UNDP’s regional and global programmes, to provide holistic and effective support to the country;  
  • Leverage support and expertise from the UNDP’s global/regional Economist networks to assist in strengthening UNDP’s support on economic analysis and policy development to Government and the UN Country Team

Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement to support UNDP’s institutional positioning and advance its mandate:

  • Contribute, in close collaboration with senior management, to the development and/or strengthening of partnerships with UN agencies, IFIs, bilateral development agencies, private sector entities, and civil society;
  • When delegated, represent UNDP country office in relevant forums, conferences or workshops, including to present research or programmatic results;
  • Assist the Resident Representative in resource mobilization and future growth strategies and contribute to the design of large-scale programme and development solutions;
  • Contribute to national, regional, and global knowledge networks and communities of practice.

Contribution to UNDP’s work across the Asia-Pacific region, including collaboration with the regional economist network and analysis of priority regional thematic areas:

  • Participate actively in the UNDP Asia-Pacific regional network of economists, through attending regional meetings (in-person and/or virtual), sharing relevant experiences, and conducting peer reviews;
  • Collaborate and contribute to regional publications, practice notes, and Regional Human Development Reports;
  • Substantively contribute as possible to UNDP regional knowledge products and development of programming offers in regional priority areas (e.g., inequality, future of work, innovative financing);
  • Enhance UNDP’s understanding and design of new approaches to sustainable development across the region by acting as a regional thematic lead where possible.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organisation.

Core Competencies
  • Achieve Results:  LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact 
  • Think Innovatively:  LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems 
  • Learn Continuously:  LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  • Adapt with Agility:  LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands 
  • Act with Determination:  LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  • Engage and Partner:  LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion:  LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management (Insert below standard sentence if the position has direct reports.)

  • UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies:

  • Business Direction & Strategy - System Thinking
    • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
  • Business Development - Knowledge Facilitation
    • Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally
  • Business Management - Portfolio Management
    • Ability to select, prioritize and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimizing return on investment
  • Digital & Innovation - Data literacy
    • Understand the potential as well as the limitations of using data driven innovation. 
    • Ability to use a mix of data sources (quantitative, qualitative or real-time techniques) to develop understanding, identify patterns to inform decision making or identify opportunities for further exploration
  • Programme & Policy - Crisis and Fragility Policy and Engagement
    • Data/Analytics for early warning and crisis management
  • Programme and policy - SDG Integration
    • Economy-wide analysis · Engagement with South-South Global Thinkers
  • Digital & Innovation - Co-creation
    • Ability to design and facilitate a process that enables a diverse group of stakeholders to solve a common problem, develop a practice, or create knowledge together · Ability to embrace diversity, work with a diverse group of stakeholders, understand their interests, perspectives and views and tap into them as a source for creativity. 
    • Ability to facilitate processes and create conditions that are open for diverse inputs, stimulate collaboration and sharing.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Economics or related fields is required. 
  • A Bachelor’s degree in combination with 2 additional years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the Master's  degree.
  • Ph.D. in Economics will be an advantage.


  • Minimum of 5 years (with Master’s Degree) or 7 years (with Bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience at the national or international level in relevant areas of economic research and policy and implementation support. 
  • Extensive experience in research and policy-level analysis is desirable; 
  • Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience is desirable.
  • Experience in preparing high quality policy briefs and guidance notes for use by senior policy makers is desirable;
  • Experience of strategic visioning with strong technical and highly developed analytical capabilities is desirable;
  • Knowledge of the SDGs and their application at the national level, politically astute with demonstrated experience in stakeholder analysis and engagement is desirable;
  • Experience in handling of web-based management systems and advanced programmes for statistical analysis of data is desirable.


  • Fluency in oral and written English and Dzongkha is a requirement.


Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
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This vacancy is now closed.
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